As my mom, Collene Spencer enters her seventh year in Heaven, even though there is no time in Heaven, it is the seventh year in Earth years. My sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, Allyn Hadlock, and I all feel like we have grown so much over the years our parents have lived in Heaven. I think every child wants to make their parents proud of them, and even more so when their parents live in Heaven. We all feel like our parents are looking down at us from Heaven and that they truly love the people we have become. No, we are not perfect, but we do our very best, and we always try to act in a manner that we know they would be proud of. I believe that we have succeeded, and that our mom and dad are very proud of their girls.
Mom was always the sunny person in our family, and she taught her girls to “keep on the sunny side” and to make laughter a staple in our lives. Some of my sweetest memories are those when Mom was being silly. She loved having a house full of laughter, and while five daughters meant five times the drama, it also meant five times the laughter, giggles, and silliness too. Mom would do everything in her power to bring that to pass in her home. Mom grew up in a large family during the Great Depression years, and while money was scarce, love and laughter were not. Mom’s family, her parents and eight siblings laughed together, worked together, and sang together. Her mom brought sunshine and happiness into their home, and in our family, my mom was the bringer of sunshine and happiness. They say you learn what you live, and in my mom’s case, that meant that because she watched her mom be the bringer of sunshine and happiness in her childhood…she made it her goal in her own family…and Mom did it quite well.
I miss those days of Mom singing “Keep on the Sunny Side” as she woke us up in the morning. I miss her silliness and her laughter. Mom delighted in life. Many things brought her joy and laughter. She was, I suppose, a kid at heart, and the funny stuff really tickled her funny bone. Mom made our home and our lives…fun!! She just did, and I will always see her in that light. It has been seven years today since my mom went home to Heaven. Mom, we love and miss you very much, and we will see you in the future.
My aunt, Doris Spencer has always been such a sweet person. She goes out of her way to make people feel welcome in her home. I remember so many visits over the years. Aunt Doris was a great cook, and man…could she put on a spread. It didn’t matter what was going on in her life, when you were at her house, you were the top priority. Aunt Doris was only interested in one thing…making sure that her guests had a great visit. While Aunt Doris is very focused when it comes to entertaining, she is far from a serious, stuffy hostess. She can be completely hilarious.
My mom, Collene Spencer, and Aunt Doris were best friends when my family lived in Superior, Wisconsin. The two of them always had a great time together. They were almost like two kids. The things they did, like dieting together, even though neither really needed to lose much weight. Nevertheless, they dieted, and if they got really hungry, Aunt Doris would give each of them one Puffed Rice grain…to hold them over. Hahahahahaha!! I can’t say that ever really worked. In fact, I’m sure it didn’t work, but they gave it the old college try. They also tried ketchup soup…basically ketchup and hot water…making a kind of tomato soup. Oh my!! How dieting has changed over the years.
Aunt Doris was a lot like my mom. They both loved to laugh and were not above silliness to get those around them to smile and laugh. Aunt Doris has a generous heart, and is such a kind loving person. During the years that my parents, my sister, and I lived in Superior, Wisconsin, Aunt Doris was a blessing from Heaven to my mom, who was a young woman, just married, and living in a place where she knew almost no one. Aunt Doris was my mom’s sister-in-law as well. Since our family moved from Superior, Wisconsin to Casper, Wyoming, we haven’t have the opportunities to visit her that we had before, and I am very sorry about that. When we got together more often, we were all a blessing to each other. My sisters and I will be going to Wisconsin for a visit this summer, and we are all excited to be able to see Aunt Doris again. Today is Aunt Doris’ 97th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Doris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
On most Thursday evenings, I go over to have supper with my mom, Collene Spencer and my sister, Cheryl Masterson. This summer, Cheryl has been babysitting her little granddaughter, Aleesia Spethman, while her daughter, Jenny and her family attend some of the Thursday night events in Downtown Casper. Prior to having Aleesia over on Thursday nights, I got to see her once a week at church, so she was a little bit stand offish with me…not terribly unusual in an almost two year old child who doesn’t know you that well. Now that I have spent more time with her, she is warming up to me, and it is so much fun to witness the changes in her first hand. She is and always be her grandma’s girl, unless her parents are around, and her great grandma, my mom, who she calls GG, will always be second, but she does like her Great Aunt Caryn too. She says my name, but I don’t always catch that my name is what she is saying, and she doesn’t say it very often, but she will throw me kisses, and even climb up in my chair once in a while now. At least, she will once she feels sufficiently warmed up to me for the evening. But, my favorite thing she says is when she and her grandma are playing word games. They say pa-lease…which is of course please with sarcasm. It’s really quite funny.
Aleesia is a performer, and she loves to be recognized for the amazing feats of acrobatics, balance, and just plain silliness she performs. Her most favorite thing to do is to climb up on GG’s walker, that has a seat. Once there, she raises her hands above her head and looks around the room to make sure that we have all noticed this amazing act. We are then expected to clap our hands, and anyone who doesn’t receives an Aleesia Stare until they get their act together and start clapping. Seriously, you can watch television anytime, and this is The Aleesia Show, so pay attention!! Her next maneuver is to jump from the walker to the waiting arms of her grandma or GG. Never mind that they might be eating. If they don’t tell her to wait until after supper soon enough, they had better catch her…because this little girl is fearless. That isn’t surprising either, because Aleesia has three brothers, so tough is kind of her middle name.
Even though Aleesia is tough enough, don’t make the mistake of thinking that she isn’t a girly girl, because she likes her cute outfits and even her hair bows…most of the time. She loves the frilly little outfits that her mom dresses her in. Her favorite decorative pillow has Tinkerbelle on it. All these things point to a girly girl. And that is Aleesia too. She loves to dance, and anything else that might get those around her to cheer her on or clap their hands. That’s just part of her charm and part of The Aleesia Show, in which our little girl performs to the delight of those around her. It’s a show I would hate to miss. Today is Aleesia’s 2nd birthday. Happy birthday baby girl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My sisters and I loved each other dearly, and we still do to this day. We are best friends, and enjoy spending time together. Still, that did not stop the normal sibling rivalry and other forms of fights kids have. Looking back on them now, we can laugh it off, but for me the scars I left on my sisters are still pretty fresh in my memory. I always had long finger nails…or daggers, weapons, knives, or whatever you might call them. I could be pretty dangerous. Not as dangerous, apparently and my sister Caryl was, however. I don’t know how Alena survived such a horrendous attack.
Of course, Caryl and Alena were playing around in this picture, but that wasn’t always the case. With 5 girls in the house, there were bound to be some cat fights, or just plain knock down drag out fights. What I do remember vividly, however, was that when we got too screamy for my mom, she would clear the living room floor, and make us fight it out. Those fights usually ended up with each of us pulling the other’s long hair, refusing to give in, until we were both head down on the floor being held there by the hair. We would usually end up laughing at the silliness of this type of battle, and quickly move back to the whole sisterly love thing. Wise woman, my mom!
We never stopped goofing around with what many people might have thought was fighting, but in reality was play. Scenes like Caryl pretending to choke Alena were not uncommon, because we loved to tease each other, and 5 sisters can come up with a lot of ways to tease…or torture. Yes, there were some fights, but I can honestly say that there were a lot more times where sisterly love prevailed, and that is probably why we have remained such good friends all these years. I love my sisters, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. We have grown and changed trough the years, but our love for each other has not grown dim. My sisters were, are, and always will be my best friends. Sisterly love always wins in the end.
On Valentine’s Day, two very special people got engaged. My future nephew-in-law, Jason asked my niece Jessi to marry him. We are all so happy for them. They are so perfect for each other. They are both full of life and fun to be around. It is a great match.
Jason…known as Red, fits so well into the family. We are a family that likes to tease each other, so it’s a good idea to find someone who is an easygoing kidder. And that is Jason. Theirs is a relationship fulled with laughter, and what could be more wonderful than a home filled with laughter. I am convinced that that is the type of home Jessi ad Jason will have.
Still, behind the laughter, the silliness, the jokes and teasing, lives a love that is very strong. I have talked to Jason when he wasn’t joking, and before he knew me very well. Bob and I were on a trail here in town, when we ran into Jason. You could see the way he felt when he spoke of Jessi. It wasn’t so much in his words, but more it his way of talking about Jessi, and I hope he doesn’t mind my sharing of our conversation. It wasn’t so much in the words spoken, but rather in the look in his eyes when he speaks of Jessi.
It is the same look I have seen in Jessi’s eyes when she speaks of Jason…along with a sparkle in her eyes and a glow on her face. It is a look I think most of us know, or at least those of us who have been there. It is a look of love. It is the look on both Jessi and Jason’s faces. Theirs is love, and I believe, it is forever…a match made in Heaven. And it makes me so happy for both of them.
I think Jessi and Jason have the three most important ingredients for a good marriage…God, love, and laughter. With those ingredients, along with hard work, because no marriage works if its members won’t work at it, Jessi and Jason will have the together forever kind of marriage. I am so happy for them as they begin their life’s journey.